Skip to comments.Rebels and Radicals: The New American Revolution
Posted on 09/08/2009 3:41:52 AM PDT by Walter Scott Hudson
Radicalism and rebellion can be vilified or canonized without much thought. In the context of the American Revolution, we view the radicalism and rebellion of our founding fathers as good, even sacred. Yet we often use the terms radical and rebel as pejoratives in a modern context. Why is that? Radicalism and rebellion are healthy when the system rebelled against acts to deprive free men of their natural rights. But radicalism and rebellion can also be used against a system which recognizes and preserves those rights. This is the situation we find ourselves in today, with radicals rebelling against the American system in the name of progress and social justice. This New Revolution is distinct from the First American Revolution in that the so-called rights being fought for are not rights at all, but entitlements. Understanding the difference between the two is essential. Rights are like fences. They erect boundaries which others cannot cross. Entitlements have the opposite effect, tearing down boundaries, eliminating individual distinctions, and granting ownership of all to the collective. Todays radicals wish to erect a society of entitlement, and thereby necessarily deprive free men of their rights. This effort could rightly be called the Anti-American Revolution, as its goal is precisely the opposite of the First American Revolution.
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An interesting comment from another forum:
... to believe [all conflict can be solved by talking it out], one has to be completely and totally ignorant of both history and human nature. I’ve noticed this gobsmacking blindness in the left before, Marx was an idiot with absolutely no understanding of human nature. Reading Marx is like reading the simplistic ramblings of a child living in a fantasy land. In fact, most children, as in your playground analogy, are more aware of reality than Marx and the Left are. The “traditional” structures of society that the Left is so desirous of destroying, religion, political structures, society as it exists, for all their problems and issues, evolved and have survived as they have proven to be effective ways of controlling the weaknesses and dark aspects of human behavior. Are they perfect? No, nothing ever will be, but by and large they are far better than anything the Left is proposing to ram down people’s throats. These structures and aspects of society have evolved as effective ways to civilize people and stop them from eating each other, figuratively and literally. Humans have a very dichotomous nature, and the dark side needs education and control to eliminate. That’s why we pass laws, and we school and teach ethics and morals thru both religion and social mores and traditions. What is the concept of Honor, except one to control bad behavior by assigning social stigma to people who don’t? Yet honor is a strong and powerful deterrent if the society actually ostracizes those who fail to live up to societies standards. But when a society excuses bad behavior, the “he did it because of (broken home, race, whatever)” this structure breaks down and you have chaos that’s only barely constrained by law enforcement, which will never be as effective as self regulation through personal belief in moral structures. The state is a poor replacement for shared societal morals and ethics and religion. So, the people who want to tear down these social institutions breed chaos and destruction.
And my response:
Another testament to human nature, which your post has reminded me of Severian, is the effect of anonymity on behavior. This is commonly demonstrated in our modern era by the conduct of people on the internet. When you are no longer attached to your name, when you are no longer associated with your face, when the chances of you being held accountable for your behavior in perpetuity shrink nearer to zero, the primary governor of decency is removed. We have all seen examples on this forum, on any forum. It is part of the reason I choose years ago to use my real name instead of an avatar; it holds me accountable. A colloquial example, if you or your children spend any time playing online video games, is the voice and text chat which takes place in that venue. You have kids as young as 10 conducting themselves toward adults in a manner they would never dare if they were standing next to one. Identity is a prerequisite to honor. This is why executioners in many cultures typically wear masks, why secret police are a bad idea, and why firing squads sometimes have several guns with blanks. The anonymity of the internet is unique, as opposed to going around wearing a mask, because it conceals absolutely everything about you - gender, size, race, age, education, physical fitness, everything. Therefore, people who would never confront you in person feel perfectly at ease doing so online. The ability to disassociate one’s identity from one’s actions empowers conduct which reflects our unfiltered human nature. That nature is not to be good.